Alex Benzer

Alex Benzer

Alex Benzer

Alex Benzer

Vidme

Vidme began in 2014 as an experiment in making video sharing faster, easier, and more fun. We built a one-step video uploading utility that didn't even require login.

Within two years, usage exploded to more than 20M monthly active users and billions of pageviews. Vidme became a top 500 Alexa website. We raised $8M from great investors like Upfront, NEA, First Round Capital, and Initialized.

Unfortunately, all this usage cost a lot to support, and we ultimately failed to find a way to turn Vidme into a sustainable business.

Vidme's brand and tech were acquired by Giphy in 2018. Here's a post about what we learned.

Here

Here was an interactive video collage I exhibited at MOCA Los Angeles in 2016.

This generative piece was projected on a large screen in the Ahmanson Auditorium. As visitors stood in the theater, a mirror of their silhouettes tracked them on the screen. These silhouettes masked hundreds of videos taken from every nook and cranny around Los Angeles, each capturing a different everyday moment somewhere in the city.

Visitors moved their bodies to paint with these videos, creating an ever-changing video collage of the shared LA experience.

Curate LA

Curate LA is an arts discovery platform I created with Shelley Holcomb. Our goal is to make it easier for anyone to discover great art in Los Angeles.

The website and iOS app provide an extensive crowdsourced map and listing of art galleries, museums, alt spaces, fairs, upcoming openings and exhibitions. Curate LA also publishes videos with artist interviews, studio visits and recent cultural highlights from around greater Los Angeles.

Stampede

I, like you, found myself suddenly interested in politics in 2016. I learned that writing letters to our representatives in the U.S. government can have an impact. I found ways to do this via email and fax, but couldn't find an easy way to actually send a physical letter without buying stamps and envelopes, writing it out and mailing it by hand. I've long forgotten how to write anything by hand, so I decided to build a service that would do this for me (and you).

Stampede lets you easily send physical letters to our leaders in the U.S. government. Each physical letter costs $1 to send, no stamp licking required. Letters can be sent en masse if you wish. You also get a link to a copy of your letter that you can share anywhere.

SocialEngine

I co-founded SocialEngine with Charlotte Genevier in 2008. We developed software that helped customers build their own custom social websites and online forums.

The company reach profitability in its first year and served customers like Apple, Electronic Arts, Mastercard, NASA, Shell, Kaplan, along with thousands of other companies, organizations and interest groups. Hundreds of third-party developers built their own products, mods, and themes for the platform.

SocialEngine was in the Techstars Boulder 2011 batch, and was acquired two years later by Room 214.

Gifdub

GIFs + sound. I designed a video app that records your voice over Giphy GIFs, and spits out a sharable video like this.

Represent LA

Back in 2012, I started to feel a little isolated as our office was in Silver Lake — a far cry from LA's classic startup hub in Santa Monica and Venice. While I had a hunch there were more startups on the east side than I knew, I thought a listing or map would help me (and others) find them.

I teamed up with Tara Tiger Brown to build represent.la, an interactive map for the LA startup ecosystem. I developed the website and populated it with some initial data, while Tara helped crowdsource the rest. Over time, it became the best way to see who your neighbors are in LA startupland.

After the site caught some media attention, founders from outside LA asked me how they could build a similar map for their own cities. So, I open-sourced the underlying code as represent-map, which hundreds of cities used to create their own startup maps.

Update: I handed Represent LA off to the Annenberg Foundation in 2019. It may no longer be actively maintained.